Fifteen reasons why Thuli must probe Mdluli
Dianne Kohler Barnard, Shadow Minister of Police
23 April 2012
Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela has indicated that tomorrow her office will announce her decision on whether or not to investigate Richard Mdluli and the on-going crime intelligence saga.
This follows the request by the Democratic Alliance (DA) and her confirmation of a preliminary investigation earlier this month (see letter).
There are at least fifteen reasons why we believe that an investigation by the Public Protector is warranted. These include allegations of the following:
- Seven of Mdluli’s family members were registered as secret agents in crime intelligence less than a year after his appointment to the job in 2009;
- Mdluli’s family members were supplied with luxury vehicles purchased for more than R47 million over the past five years by a crime intelligence front company;
- Some of these vehicles were illegally registered in the name of Mdluli’s wife;
- Mdluli allegedly used crime intelligence vehicles that he was not entitled to;
- A crime intelligence whistle-blower was abducted by other crime intelligence operatives;
- A “prominent person” from KwaZulu-Natal was allegedly placed in crime intelligence to influence suspended police boss Bheki Cele;
- Mdluli “abused” a travel agent in Durban, with him and his family travelling more than 50 times on the state’s cost;
- Various safe houses were rented by the police for the sole use of Mdluli and his family;
- Two journalists were allegedly paid – one R100 000 to write a positive story about the police and the other R50 000 not to publish a story about a senior cop; and
- Evidence was uncovered from which it appears that crime intelligence “sought to influence political processes in KwaZulu-Natal through the deployment of a select few covert intelligence fieldworkers” in the province. This included “buying influence and access”;
- Mdluli’s seven family members, who are secret agents, apparently do little at crime intelligence and in the 18 months since their appointment in 2010 they had cost the state more than R5 million in salaries and other expenses;
- According to the City Press, the Hawks were investigating claims that almost R200 000 was paid from the crime intelligence slush fund for renovations to Police Minister Mthethwa’s private residence in KwaZulu-Natal.
- Minister Mthethwa also allegedly used a luxury Mercedes-Benz SUV, bought by crime intelligence, for a period of 15 months.
- Questions have been raised with regard to Minister Mthethwa's alleged improper involvement in having the Hawks investigation into Crime Intelligence Head Richard Mdluli and its finance head Solly Lazarus terminated and their suspensions lifted.
- This is in addition to unanswered questions about allegations of murder, kidnapping, assault and intimidation hanging over Mdluli’s head.
In terms of section 6(4) of the Public Protector Act, the Public Protector is empowered to investigate improper advantage, abuse or unjustifiable exercise of power or unfair, capricious or other improper conduct or undue delay by a person performing a public function.
The Public Protector has the power to lift the cloak of secrecy over the crime intelligence slush fund and expose the involvement of key police officers and politicians. It is imperative that transparency and accountability prevail.